HUNDREDS of firefighters from across the country have attended a high profile thanksgiving service in Staffordshire.
Once again the National Arboretum in Alrewas hosted The Annual International Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday, May 13.
The ceremony sets out to give thanks to firefighters from the UK who protect communities at home and abroad. It also honours Fire and Rescue Service colleagues from around the globe.
The Firefighters Memorial Trust hosted the event, which started at 11.30am, with the support of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. The service was conducted by Reverend Mia Hilborn (Chaplain to the Trust).
Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Rob Barber and Stephen Sweeney, Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority attended along with crews from Lichfield Community Fire Station.
Representatives from Fire and Rescue Services from across the UK attended the ceremony.
Former and serving firefighters, their families and friends as well as members of the public were also invited to attend the service.
The National Fire Cadets provided a guard of honour and co-ordinated the laying of personal and Service wreaths.
DCFO Rob Barber said: “Sunday saw colleagues from across the United Kingdom travel to Staffordshire for this important ceremony of thanksgiving and remembrance.
“It is an absolute privilege to be a part of The Annual International Service of Thanksgiving, which is always an incredibly moving occasion, where we unite to say thank you to serving crew members and take the time to remember and appreciate our colleagues who have paid the ultimate price and sacrificed their own lives to help others.
“Every day around the world firefighters risk their lives to keep the communities that they serve safe. Their courage and dedication is an inspiration as they deal with major incidents, including wildfires that can destroy entire communities, house fires and road traffic collisions which all too often threaten the lives of those involved.”